Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dressing Yourself

I asked Trevor to go up and get dressed yesterday.  I usually set out clothes for him, but that morning I sent him up to find his own outfit. This is what he came down in.
 And this is what I dressed Addison in.  She just wanted to pose for a picture.
 And this is Tyler in his new recliner he got from Santa. I dressed him also. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning

Our Christmas morning wasn't too early! Addison arrived in our bedroom around 7am... Trevor woke up soon after, and by 730, they were in waking up McKenzie and Tyler...
By 745am, they were squealing with delight over what Santa had brought during the night!






 Here is the furry pink trunk full of dress up clothes from Alaska... which you will see in future blog posts I'm sure, that Addison will now be living in this wardrobe!


See what I'm saying!
Thank you everyone for all the wonderful gifts! The kids were thrilled with everything! We missed being around our family this year, but were able to talk to most of you on the phone, or send messages in one form or another!

 I got Nick a beautiful White House humidor for all his cigars! It's the same one he got to put in the Cigar Basket he put together for the squadron's charity basket auction.  He was so disappointed when he didn't win his own basket full of goodies.... so Santa made up for that!
As for me, Nick got me a charm bracelet with Marine Corps charms that represent every duty station we have been to (or squadron)! I hinted at this several times in the past few months, but never expected to get this many charms from the start!

From left to right: HMX-1 Patch, Marine Cover representing Quantico, Aviator Wings, Eagle Globe & Anchor, USMC tags, CH-53E helicopter, and a lei to represent Marine Corps Base Hawaii!

After the gifts were all opened, and the dust settled, the kids went off and tried out their new games and watched a couple movies....

McKenzie got a Wii game called JUST DANCE... you have to dance along to all the dance moves during the song.... it was pretty fun. 

McKenzie jammin' to M.C. Hammer's HAMMER TIME!
video video

Addison dancing along with McKenzie
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And Trevor tried it out too....
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Then, without my knowing,  Nick taped my debut...
video
And just for the record, it's harder than it looks, you don't get much guidance on your dance moves until you see the girl on the game do it! I'm just sayin... 
video

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a busy one for us this year! After a long day of baking the day before, we woke up and had a little house cleaning to do!
Then, we let the kids choose one gift under the tree to open!  Addison opened up her gift from the Ladners, which was a Barbie!
 Tyler got a wooden tractor from the Ladners! (Thank you!!!!)
 McKenzie got a nice big gift card to spend wherever she pleases...
 And Trevor opened a set of Curious George books that he couldn't wait to start reading from his aunt and uncle and cousins from Alaska!
 Nick got a beer bottle opener/hammer from the Ladners
(can you see the excitement on his face?!)
And McKenzie got me (the photographer) a lovely little package of Delicious chocolates! (She knows me too well!)

We went to our church's Christmas Eve service at 3, then came home, changed, and loaded up the van with ham, cookies and kids, and headed over to our friends house.  We dropped off the kiddos and food there and then jumped in our friends car and drove down the road with them to ANOTHER friends house for a lovely Christmas Eve cocktail party! Complete with a Jersey Santa! "Eh! Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Then it was back to Jim and Felicia's for dinner! Jim put olives on Addison's fingers...
and when she didn't want to eat them... he did! Which, I think, surprised Addison a little!
 
We had lots of squishy face photo opps!
We had quite a spread of delicious food, that we ALL ate too much of, including a fried turkey, a ham, delicious salads, and pupus, and of course, wine!
 Trevor and McKenzie were off enjoying their friends the entire night, so besides the occasional drive by cookie grabbing, we didn't see much of them!
 Addison brought along her Barbie and had a blast talking to the dogs!
But it wasn't long before we had to head home to get  ready for Santa!  Tyler and Addison crashed in the car before we got home, but Addison woke up long enough for Grandpa Bob to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas".

Growing up, my dad always read this to us before we went to bed on Christmas Eve, and he has continued this tradition with our children.  Since we were not in Iowa last Christmas he and my mom got the kids the recordable book with my Dad's voice reading the story!  So now, we can still carry on this tradition even if we aren't back home! I absolutely love it, and so do the kids!

 Then the little ones picked out some cookies and milk for Santa, and some carrots for the reindeer (Trevor made sure we had 9, so each of the reindeer... including Rudolph, would all get one)!
 Then we placed them by the fireplace.... and when Addison made sure they were just so!... we all went to bed!

Nick's Fudge

 Each Christmas Nick makes his famous fudge.  So after a long day of baking the other day, I sat back, had a glass of wine, and watched Nick make his fudge!
 With a little of this, and a little of that...

 It wasn't long before he made two batches! One plain chocolate batch and another with mint flavoring! Yum! I think I'll have him branch out some more next year and try some different varieties!!! His fudge rocks!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baking Baking Baking

We are going to a couple Christmas Eve parties tomorrow and I am bringing goodies to both... plus, I just like to have lots of treats around the house for the holidays!  Over the past few days I've slowly been baking and building up our stash!  I started out with gingerbread and sugar cookies. The sugar cookies are now gone and so I'll have to make another batch, the gingerbread are down to about 3...

The other day I made caramel and chocolate dipped pretzels and then just some chocolate dipped pretzels. (one of Nick's favorites... he has many!)

But today was most productive. Here is what was made in my kitchen today. And can I just say, may God bless me with double ovens in every house we live in from here on out! Amen.
Thumbprints
My version of Rich Cookies
Rich Cookies are Nick's ultimate, must have at Christmas time, (or any other time Kim will make them) favorite cookies.  I made them a little different this time because I doubled the next recipe and I had oodles and oodles of...
Chocolate Drop Cookies with Browned Butter Glaze
Chocolate Crinkles
Almond Sweets
Hickory Nut Macaroons (minus the nuts)
Sugared Pecans

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowman on a Sunny Day & Christmas Cookies

With Friday being another snow day (although I just don't understand why), the kids woke up wanting to go outside and play in the snow.  Addison backed out last minute, but Trevor was ready to go make a snowman... especially since I mentioned it would be the perfect snow to make a snowmen. The sun was out and the snow was slowly, dare I say it... melting!

I have a snowman kit complete with button eyes, a carrot nose, coal mouth, pipe and stocking cap. So I told Trevor to come get it when his snowman was ready.  A couple minutes later he came in, upset. The snow wasn't sticky enough to make a snowman. So I said, try to make a bigger snowball, then roll that around.  He wasn't out there more than 3 minutes before he came back in asking for the kit....

 Yes, the sun was hot that day.... but this is how "Frosty" started out.
We ran out to see this wonderful snowman... he was so proud.

Later on that afternoon, my friend Nina stopped by to help bake and decorate some Christmas cookies!  We made sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.  The kids put sprinkles on the cookies after we frosted them.  Addison ate more sprinkles than what she put on the cookies, and with all her finger licking, I promised Nina I wouldn't make her take home any of Addison's candy cane cookies!

Tyler kept his eyes on the cookies in the oven to make sure I didn't over bake them!
Then I let the kids decorate one more before bedtime. Go figure Trevor picks the giant gingerbread man... he managed to eat his legs and body, but left the head and arms for tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

First Snow

Monday we had a light dusting of snow during the wee morning hours...
It was just enough to stay for a little while, but was all gone by the end of the day...
But! Yesterday, I woke up to an email from the county saying school was canceled! And the snow hadn't even begun to fall yet! The kids were thrilled. (With the exception of McKenzie... who would rather go to school and hang out with her friends!) I made the kids eat breakfast and let the snow fall a little more before bundling them all up and sending them out...

Addison was so excited... and poor Tyler wanted to go out so bad, but it was a little too chilly for him. I need to go find him a snowsuit and boots! So I let him watch from the spare bedroom windows. 

How sad. This picture makes me feel like a mean mom!
Trevor got to try out the new sleds we got a few months ago. Lesson learned after not being able to get any sleds last year after the first snow came... not even ONLINE! They were ALL GONE!
 The kids stayed out for quite a while.  I was amazed at how long Addison stayed out... but learned that not even peeing her pants can ruin the fun of playing in the snow. She was soaked when she came in for hot cocoa!
Trevor came in soon after, but went back out with McKenzie and the neighbor kids after finishing off his santa mug full of hot cocoa.  He came screaming up to the front door a while later needing to pee.  Poor guy, I couldn't get all his snow gear off soon enough.  

Lesson of the day: Always come inside at the first urge to go to the bathroom.  Consider the length of time it will take you to take off boots, snowpants, gloves, hat, scarves, coat.  (Because you KNOW Mom won't let you run through the house to the bathroom dripping wet with clumps of snow falling off with every step, no matter how loud you scream and cry.)
This morning, I caught Addison feeding her little brother some yogurt:
(and yes, she still loves wearing winter hats around the house)